Written by / 5/22/2013 / 2 Comments / , , , , , , ,

MICHAEL SHANNON IS THE ICEMAN

year: 2013 cast: Michael Shannon, Chris Evans, Ray Liotta, Wionna Ryder rating: **
This true life crime melodrama is a very… mellow… drama about a hit man known as The Iceman played by Michael Shannon who, looking a cross between Jack Lord and Richard Kiel had they both morphed into Frankenstein’s monster, was a real tough cookie: Beginning as a sound editor in the pornography business, and then working for temperamental mob boss Roy Demeo, our central character Richard Kuklinski never had a prayer to do anything else for a living. Immensely cold and stealthily calculating, he has what it takes to be a hit man, something Demeo (Ray Liotta) sees in him right away. The first couple hits are pretty intense but not very suspenseful. With somber music orchestrating each scene – the mechanics of a lost soul given its own melancholy dirge – and sporadic ultra violent montages, we never get too up close and personal into the bloody reality of Kuklinski’s profession, at least not right away.

The twist here is that Kuklinski has a family while working as a hit man. Enter Wionna Ryder as his soft-spoken passive wife, Deborah, supposedly oblivious to her husband's occupation. With two beautiful daughters, the Kuklinski clan seems like a Norman Rockwell painting. But the family scenes spend too much time wallowing in a contrived sense of irony, never standing out on their own merit. Until the mobsters hit too close to home, and Kuklinski begins showing his dark side in front of the wife and kids, allowing Michael Shannon to emote past an otherwise limited steely countenance. One particular scene, after Kuklinski lets a seventeen-year-old girl witness go unharmed, and then attempts to protect her from a fellow hit man named Mr. Freezy (played by Chris Evans, who would introduce him to the art of freezing victims to thwart the cop’s timetable), shows us a vulnerable side missing in the segments with family and friends. This also provides a Film Noir aspect of a killer with a kind heart beating, somewhere. But like some of the duller Noirs, there’s more style than substance going on.

Kuklinski’s gig wasn’t a short one. The searing biopic zooms from the sixties to the eighties through music and distinguishing hairstyles and mustaches all sizes, yet there’s never a sense of importance in any decade. That is, we never stick in one place long enough for anything to really matter.
Share This Post :
Tags : , , , , , , ,

2 comments:

  1. I've heard and read about the Iceman's story for quite some time, have seen interviews, heard interviews with him. I have always been fascinated by him and his story. I just heard about this movie a couple days ago. I suppose I'll have to run out and see it.

    Good review as always.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I bet a documentary would be better than the movie.

    ReplyDelete

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.

All Time Popular

Featured Post

OLIVER REED DOES ITALIAN CRIME IN 'REVOLVER' W/ FABIO TESTI

Oliver Reed in Revolver Year: 1973 Rating: ***1/2 A promising, clever premise of a government official, played by the genuinely tough Oliver...

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Most Popular Last Year

WWW.CULTFILMFREAKS.COM

WWW.CULTFILMFREAKS.COM
Movie Reviews, Interviews, Articles and Pop Culture from White Heat to Blue City

UPCOMING ARTICLE/REVIEW

UPCOMING ARTICLE/REVIEW
Sean Penn in Rick Rosenthal's 1980's cult exploitation prison flick BAD BOYS

TOTAL HITS

Popular Trending

FOUNDED BY JAMES M. TATE

FOUNDED BY JAMES M. TATE
RANDOM QUOTE: "Tagging trees is a lot better than chasing monsters." Dean Norris as Hank Schrader, Breaking Bad

LIKE US ON FACEBOOK

FILM NOIR/NEO NOIR/CRIME


"One false move and you're over your head."

FAVORITES SHORTLIST

1)THE CROWDED SKY 2)THE FEARMAKERS 3)JAWS 4)RAIDERS FROM BENEATH THE SEA 5)ANATOMY OF A MURDER 6)HOT CARS 7)VIOLENT SATURDAY 8)CANYON PASSAGE 9)THE MAN FROM LARAMIE 10)HARDCORE 11)CURSE OF THE DEMON 12)THE DEFECTOR 13)SHARKS' TREASURE 14)SWEENEY TWO 15)OTLEY 16)DUEL IN THE JUNGLE 17)ASH WEDNESDAY 18)THE SERGEANT 19)ROYAL FLASH 20)THE ONLY GAME IN TOWN 21)THE ROARING TWENTIES 22)FALLEN ANGEL 23)AL CAPONE 24)THE ASPHALT JUNGLE 25)AIR PATROL 26)KILLER FISH 27)THE SYSTEM 28)WHITE HEAT 29)EASY LIVING 30)ATLANTIC CITY 31)COMPULSION 32)WHERE THE SIDEWALK ENDS 33)JUNGLE STREET GIRLS 34)MADISON AVENUE 35)THE SHARKFIGHTERS 36)DEMETRIUS AND THE GLADIATORS 37)MY BLOOD RUNS COLD 38)THE LINEUP 39)SWAMP WATER 40)THE DAY THEY ROBBED THE BANK OF ENGLAND 41)RUMBLE FISH 42)CANYON RIVER 43)THE HEARSE 44)WILLIAM CONRAD'S BRAINSTORM 45)CORVETTE SUMMER 46)THE DRIVER 47)FRENZY 48)HOUSE OF STRANGERS 49)THE KILLING 50)FORCE TEN FROM NARAVONE 51)BULLITT 52)ROBBERY 53)THE FRIENDS OF EDDIE COYLE 54)KISS TOMORROW GOODBYE 55)HOTEL 56)THE BREAK 57)CRIME WAVE 58)BRANNIGAN 59)THE STONE KILLER 60)BRING ME THE HEAD OF ALFREDO GARCIA

ACTORS 1)DANA ANDREWS 2)JAMES CAGNEY 3)MARLON BRANDO 4)JACK NICHOLSON 5)ORSON WELLES 6)PETER O'TOOLE 7)TOM COURTENAY 8)CHARLES BRONSON 9)GENE HACKMAN 10)VICTOR MATURE ACTRESSES 1)VIRGINIA MAYO 2)SUE LYON 3)GENE TIERNEY 4)MERRY ANDERS 5)FAYE DUNAWAY DIRECTORS 1)JACQUES TOURNEUR 2)RICHARD FLEISCHER 3)STANLEY KUBRICK 4)ORSON WELLES 5)OTTO PREMINGER 6)JOHN CARPENTER 7)MAURY DEXTER 8)JOHN LANDIS 9)MICHAEL WINNER 10)SAM PECKINPAH

WESTERN GENRE REVIEWS

SIXTIES BRITISH NEW WAVE

RARITIES & EXPLOITATION

Popular This Month

CINEMA OF DANA ANDREWS

STARING DOWN THE SIXTIES

KICKING IN THE EIGHTIES

TALES AND REFLECTIONS

STICKING UP THE SEVENTIES

PUNCHING UP THE THIRTIES

PEELING OUT THE FORTIES

BACK TO THE FIFTIES

RETURN TO THE HOMEPAGE